UK PM Sunak’s Rwanda Asylum Seeker Bill to be Signed Into Law

A heated legislative battle has led to the passage of Rishi Sunak’s controversial Rwanda bill, which aims to deport asylum seekers to Africa. The law has sparked intense debate, with critics arguing it falls short in deterring vulnerable migrants from difficult border crossings and curbing criminal groups’ exploitation. Despite missing his spring deadline, the prime minister remains resolute, announcing that flights to Rwanda will commence within ten to twelve weeks. 

When planes take off, the UK government will feel the law’s effects, a “landmark moment” for them. However, attorneys for migrants whose cases might lead to deportation to Rwanda propose other means of preventing aircraft from taking off. In November, the UK Supreme Court declared the Rwanda program unconstitutional. It took five returns to the House of Representatives before the measure finally died. This is now the lynchpin of the prime minister’s vow to prevent small boats from crossing the Channel; with the general election looming, the prime minister has little time to demonstrate the efficacy of his strategy.

The British government has proposed transferring over 52,000 people seeking refuge to Rwanda, a nation from which they have illegally entered from another secure nation. Over five years, the program would cost a minimum of £370 million; by the end of 2023, Rwanda had received £240 million. 

With the new law in place, the government may disregard injunctions from the European Court of Human Rights that tell a plane to remain on the runway. Still, most legal professionals feel this would violate international law. Additionally, the administration has suggested instituting faster processes for new returnees and enforcement units, strengthening authority and intelligence agreements, cracking down on criminal groups, and beefing up border security.

Peaks is now discussing two changes to the bill. One would establish an impartial committee to assess Rwanda’s safety, and the other would exclude Afghans who have assisted British troops. Rejecting the last proposal for a monitoring committee, the government has said that it is profoundly moral and patriotic to defend the integrity of our borders.

Human rights organizations have criticized the Rwandan government’s proposal, saying it would weaken safeguards against governmental abuse of power and endanger the rule of law.